Florida Manatee

Trichechus manatus latirostris

Florida Manatee

Trichechus manatus latirostris
Trichechus manatus latirostris
Characteristics and Behavior:

Florida manatees are large, gray aquatic mammals with rounded bodies and paddle-shaped flippers. Adults can grow up to 10 feet long and weigh up to 1,200 pounds. They have wrinkled, whiskered faces with small eyes and no external ears. They are slow-moving herbivores that feed on a variety of aquatic plants, typically seagrasses found in estuaries. They frequently surface to breathe but can stay underwater for up to 20 minutes. Manatees are social animals and often travel in small groups or pairs during the summer months but congregate en mass in natural springs during the winter to avoid cold exposure in the ocean. 

Range and Habitat Preferences:
Average Lifecycle:
Fun Facts:
  1. Manatees are known as "sea cows" because of their gentle, slow-moving nature and their herbivorous diet.
  2. Manatees are related to elephants, and their closest living relatives are hyraxes, small furry mammals found in Africa and the Middle East.
  3. Highly sensitive body hairs, called vibrissae, help manatees detect small changes in the water, giving them a sixth sense to navigate the environment.

Other Information

How to help

Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation

Learn more

Florida Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission